The Journey to Adulthood addresses the concerns of young people by:
- Providing a liturgical frame for their experience in our post-modern culture
- Celebrating their individuality and creative potential
- Instructing them in skills needed for successful adult participation in church and society
Christian formation is a lifelong process. This program gives young people a firm foundation upon which to build. The Journey to Adulthood program is based on two key concepts:
- Human sexuality and gender are gifts from God.
- Adulthood must be earned.
Throughout the program, young people explore themes of Self, Sexuality, Spirituality, and Society, while building personal skills which prepare them for adulthood.
The program includes three distinct phases, each of which is two years in length:
- J2A (Journey to Adulthood), and
- YAC (Young Adults in the Church)
Rite-13 focuses on forming and nurturing community as youth participants and leaders explore the Bible, the Episcopal Church and other aspects of the Christian faith. Classes also help youth explore, affirm and prepare for adolescence. During the two years in Rite-13, the community acknowledges the gift of gender, celebrates the amazing creative power and potential of these young people, and creates a safe haven to explore new ideas, new interests, and new abilities.
An important part of the program is the “Celebration of Manhood and Womanhood” (Rite 13 liturgy), which takes place in the church community around the young person’s 13th birthday.
At the end of two years, the group moves on to J2A.
The second segment of the program, Journey to Adulthood (J2A) focuses on continuing the community built in Rite-13, blending action and contemplation, teaching young people faithful living. To prepare them for adulthood, they are learning the skills of active listening, negotiation, assertion, research/information management, partnership and leadership.
Participants explore the Bible, society and faith to gain an understanding of Christian living. At the end of the second year of J2A, youth go on a holy pilgrimage. After this experience, as they plumb the depths of their own spirituality and their relationship to the church, the class moves on to YAC.
During the final two years of the curriculum, young people continue to explore their faith with a particular focus on identifying their own spiritual gifts and finding ways to use them in this parish and beyond. Discussions enlighten a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the church, their neighbors, and God, and opportunities to find a place in the church to engage and step out as a young adult are considered. Guided by adult advisors, they use the Anglican model of Scripture, reason, and tradition of the Church to guide their lifelong pilgrimage in faith.
YAC concludes with a “Celebration of Adulthood” ritual as young people graduate from high school and are welcomed back into the parish community as adults.